Arkansas hoops signee Mawein flourishes in opener

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2021

— Arkansas basketball signee Akol Mawein got his season off to a big start on Wednesday.

Mawein, a 6-10, 240-pound forward, had a game-high 19 points and 6 rebounds as Corsicana (Texas) Navarro College downed visiting Coastal Bend College 90-65 in a Region XIV conference junior college game at the Wolens Special Events Center.

He was 8 of 9 from the floor, 2 of 3 from 3-point range and made his only free throw as Navarro turned a one-point halftime deficit into a blowout win with a 52-point barrage after the break.

That stretch included a 28-4 run that turned a 48-45 lead into a 76-49 advantage with 5:57 to play.

“We started off a little shaken with the visiting team giving us a hard time, but we ended up coming back in the second half and beating them,” Mawein said. “We played well. I had a good game.”

Navarro was ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA’s preseason poll and features a front line of Division I signees in Mawein, 7-foot center Souleymane Doumbia (TCU) and 6-8 forward Brian Washington (Cal State Bakersfield).

Mawein had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his team’s 83-73 closed scrimmage loss to McLennan on Saturday, but he said the Bulldogs played much better in the season opener.

“I got myself more involved in the game, giving our team a lot more open opportunities on the offensive end,” Mawein said. “And (we) made our defense a key player in the matchup.”

He learned after Navarro’s win that Arkansas (11-4) had rallied from 19 down to beat Auburn.

“Pure dogs over there,” Mawein said. “I can’t wait to join in on the fun.”

Navarro returns to action Saturday when it travels to Carthage, Texas, to face Panola (1-0) in a 4 p.m. game.

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